Fans showing up to Camden Yards this afternoon expecting to see a slugfest like last night left disappointed, as this game couldn’t have been more different from last night. The Red Sox scored three runs in the fifth inning and that ended up being more than enough to beat the Orioles 5-0 in the first game of a doubleheader. This marked the Orioles’ 82nd loss of the season, eliminating the chance for a winning season. It is safe to go ahead and make October plans.
Jimmy Yacabonis (0-1) was recalled this morning as the 26th player allowed on the roster for a doubleheader and made the spot start. He started the game very strongly but allowed three runs before being pulled. David Price (12-6) started for the Sox and picked up the win after tossing six shutout innings.
The Orioles managed only five hits today and advanced only one runner into scoring position. Adam Jones collected two hits, including his 300th career double. That was the only highlight in an otherwise dismal game. Trey Mancini, Austin Wynns, and Cedric Mullins also collected hits. Chris Davis struck out three times.
This game started as a pitchers’ duel, which you may not have expected from the starting pitching matchup. Yacabonis matched Price blow for blow through the first four innings. He allowed only one baserunner, a Xander Boegarts single in the second inning, during those first four frames.
But the proverbial wheels fell of the cart for Yacabonis in the fifth inning. After Boegarts led off with Boston’s second hit of the game, Eduardo Nunez delivered a one-out homer to give the Sox a 2-0 lead. Yacabonis then retired Sandy Leon, but Jackie Bradley Jr., the number nine batter, homered to deep left to extend the lead to three. After a Mookie Betts single, Yacabonis was pulled from the game. His final line was three earned runs allowed in 4.2 innings. He allowed five hits, walked none, and struck out two.
Sean Gilmartin, a southpaw just called up from Norfolk, came on in relief and got out of the fifth inning. He didn’t look particularly sharp in his Orioles debut. Though he got out of the fifth, he allowed a single (to the left-handed Andrew Benintendi) before retiring Mitch Moreland. A run scored off of Gilmartin in the sixth, when Boegarts doubled and stole third. Wynns throw eluded Renato Nunez and the score was 4-0 Boston. He walked two in the seventh but stranded them. Overall, he pitched 2.1 innings and allowed five baserunners without striking anyone out. He did provide some length out of the bullpen, however, which is a commendable achievement in the first game of a doubleheader.
While Orioles pitchers did not continue what started out as a pitchers’ duel, David Price did. Baltimore hitters were completely dominated by him over the course of six innings. Price scattered (in the truest sense of the word) five hits; he never gave up more than one in an inning. He walked none and struck out a season high ten batters. The only chance the O’s had with a runner in scoring position was when Jones doubled in the sixth. Neither Mark Trumbo nor Mancini could deliver the big hit.
Price turning the game over to the bullpen after six innings could have provided an opportunity for the O’s to make this one interesting. That didn’t happen. Tyler Thornburg needed only twelve pitches to retire Chris Davis, Nunez, and Cedric Mullins in the seventh. Ryan Brasier pitched a clean eighth inning.
Buck Showalter gave Miguel Castro an opportunity to get back on the horse after last night’s dreadful performance. He allowed a two-out walk in the eighth inning, but escaped unscathed. But in the ninth, Bradley connected for his second home run of the game to extend the lead to 5-0. Overall, Castro allowed one run on one hit and walk in two innings. He punched out three and his performance was a definite improvement over last night’s
Matt Barnes came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for Boston. After striking out Jones and Trumbo, Mancini flew out to center field to end the game. As great as Price was today, Boston’s bullpen was even better. Three pitchers combined to retire all nine Orioles they faced.
If a silver lining is to be found in this game, it is that the bullpen was not taxed with another game coming this evening. Only two relievers were needed, which is not bad considering Yacabonis didn’t make it through the fifth inning.
You only have to wait a few hours for your next dose of Orioles baseball. The second game of today’s doubleheader starts at 7:05. Yefry Ramirez (1-4, 5.66) will start for the O’s. The Red Sox have yet to announce their starting pitcher, but Gary Thorne said throughout MASN’s broadcast that it’ll be somebody from the Boston bullpen.